5 Key Takeaways from Cisco Partner Summit 2018

What the Cisco Partner Summit Taught Us:
Fuelling Growth and Customer Obsession
Cisco Partner Summit Kosbit

Two weeks have passed since the Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas, and we are still reviewing everything we learned.   As I reflect on a rewarding week of sharing, inspiring, connecting and celebrating with our partners, I am more excited and convinced about our future growth opportunities said Rick Snyder, Senior Vice President at Cisco.

Listed below is a summary of some of the primary touchpoints from the conference:

  1. The Cloud is now fuelling our growth.

Chuck discussed the new expanded growth and optimism related to cloud computing, especially as we move forward.  His conference presentation included the following quote: “That existential threat from four or five years ago that was going to be the end of us, that was going to lead to no customer ever buying another piece of IT equipment for ever, is actually driving our growth today.”

The meaning of Chuck’s quote is that Cisco needs to embrace a world composed of multiple cloud systems for our customers.  Cisco is prepared to be in the best position, and they are working with many large corporate partners to make this happen, including Microsoft, Google and AWS.  Innovation will propel us to optimize our market leadership position moving forward.

  1. We must drive customer obsession and capture a $3.7T digital opportunity.

As I shared on the main stage, it is critical that we set the bar higher and drive customer obsession together. We must maximize performance today, while transforming the future, because our customers expect it from us.  They demand powerful business outcomes, consumption flexibility, and security and privacy rigor.  It is on all of us to drive this.

  1. Customer success are critical for our mutual future success.

Our challenge with our partners is to build an aggressive Customer Success Practice as indicated in the image to the right.  This will drive new sales opportunities around licensing, building and maintaining lifecycle and software development practices. It will catalyse customer obsession, retention and revenue growth.  Our goals and priorities for FY2019 are already here, and our partner teams are building new muscle around customer success!

  1. Great news. Our partners are poised to take action now!

We want to ensure our partners have the resources they need to take action around these focus areas today. I announced two new offers at the Summit that our partners can currently take advantage:

  • Lifecycle Adoption Practice Offer – Stronger adoption capabilities drive better renewal rates, greater expansion and customer retention. During my Americas Geo Connection Session, I introduced LIFT innovate, an ecosystem partner who compliments existing partners by providing resources necessary to help partners build stronger adoption practices.  During FY’19, we are forecast to co-fund a lifecycle adoption services engagement where a lifecycle partner like LIFT innovate can help Cisco partners build a customer lifecycle adoption practice.
  • Software Development Practice Offer – According to IDC, by 2020, partner IPs will define partner business models; it will be the driver of partner revenue and profitability. We are out to strengthen our partner’s capabilities. I introduced IGNW, another ecosystem partner who has helped other partners find their “sweet spot” in application development.

For FY’19, we plan to co-fund a 30-day engagement with IGNW and other partners by accelerating development of their application programming practices.  Existing partners can learn more by engaging their own teams.

  1. Our leadership team is energized and committed to our partner’s success.

We have experienced a number of changes at Cisco, but our current leadership team is dynamic and effective.  With a blend of new and veteran leadership, we are committed to partners. We support today’s drive to perform and run the business while focusing on the needs of our changing customers.   I find this very exciting and energizing.

The Summit left us excited, and so are our Cisco partners.  The year ahead is going to be very amazing.  Thanks for listening, Rick Snyder, Cisco.